Friday, June 4, 2010

Virginia's Leaders Show Cowrdice In Case Against Westboro Baptist

While I am never surprised any more that Virginia's leaders fail time after time to show any signs of having a spine or any shred of moral leadership, I am completely embarrassed  every time one of them opens his mouth and a klansman falls out.

Leaders who fail to lead should join the ranks of the unemployed. Remember this in November.

At issue this time is the federal court case involving the bigots from Westboro Baptist Church picketing the funerals of American soldiers killed in action. The Washington Post reports this morning:
Only logistics kept Webb, Warner off Snyder case brief, say their offices

With Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) taking heat for declining to file a friend of the court brief in a Supreme Court case involving protests at military funerals, some have noted Virginia's two Democratic senators would appear to have taken a similar tack.

After all, neither Sen. Mark Warner (D) nor Sen. James Webb (D) signed on to an amicus brief filed with the court last week by 42 other senators in the case, in which the family of fallen Marine Matthew Snyder is suing a Kansas church that protested at their son's funeral. Only Virginia and Maine have declined to side in court with the family. Cuccinelli has said he is concerned with the First Amendment implications of allowing the family to sue over the church's protest.

But Warner and Webb's office both have told us they did not sign last week's brief because it was circulated with a tight deadline as Congress was racing to leave town. Leading senators who spearheaded the amicus brief have received permission from the court to file an amended version next week. Warner plans to sign that brief, his spokesman said. Webb's office said he will review the brief upon his return from Asia, where he is traveling.

"It was too tight a deadline during a hectic time, and we missed it," said Warner spokesman Kevin Hall. Of the amended brief, Hall said, "Mark Warner's name will definitely be on it."

Will Jenkins, a Webb spokesman, said Webb's absence on last week's brief "isn't a reflection of Senator Webb's views on the issue. The actions of these protesters are despicable."

"There was a very quick turnaround on the original amicus brief, and Senator Webb was in the midst of chairing all day committee meetings on defense last week," Jenkins added. "An addendum to the amicus brief is being prepared, which Senator Webb will carefully review upon his return from Asia."

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